Brief Overview here
What is Neurofeedback?
-Neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback, reads the electrical impulses in the brain, provides information in the form of feedback, and the brain uses the information to make the changes it desires to make. It’s a passive form of biofeedback meaning that if you are training your brain, you have very little to do other than report any state shifts(how you are feeling while training and afterwards). Neurofeedback allows the brain to function the way it was designed to before biology and life experiences affected it. It helps develop more effective neural pathways and strengthens them overtime in order for us to live more authentically.
What is the process of Neurofeedback?
-An intake is conducted on the first session that is symptom based, looking at current and historical information. This provides information on which parts of the brain we will begin training and possibly train in the future. After placement is determined, you will have sensors placed on particular areas of your head. These sensors simply read information from your brain instead of putting anything into the head. During the first few sessions, we will explore various frequencies(the speed information is provided to the brain), to determine which your brain enjoys. Feedback is provided to the brain while watching anything available on Netflix in 3 ways; the screen will go from large to small, dark and light, and the volume changes slightly This is all information for your particular brain, your brain understands it, and decides what it wants to do with that information. During the first session, you and I will determine the goals you have for our work together. I will ask you to track your goals and symptoms following each training session. This information is important for me in finding your frequency and deciding when to start training other parts of the brain.
In the beginning, I have found that people enjoy training 2x or more per week. Training at a minimum of 1x per week is recommended. For this particular type of neurofeedback, a minimum of 20 sessions is required. This however, is up to you. You may reach 20 sessions and feel you have accomplished your goals or you may want to continue training. We will get a feel for how quickly your brain is responding within the first 10 sessions. I have found that those with Developmental Trauma(ongoing and persistent trauma during the first 18 years of life) require more than 20 sessions and may need at least 40 sessions to obtain the regulated brain he or she is looking for. You will be an integral part of this process; commitment and consistency yields the best results.
Are there any side effects?
-During this process, I will cause discomfort at times. This is individual to the person but is temporary in nature as the brain is plastic and can be rewired. Negative effects that people tend to experience are ones that they have experienced before. For example, a person with a history of panic attacks, may end up having one after a training session. This information will help me to determine protocols for the next session. Other examples may be irritability, trouble sleeping, nausea, etc. If anything you are experiencing is unbearable, you can come back in for another training session immediately to alleviate your symptoms. In the beginning, I find that any effects(positive or negative) tend to fade in approximately 24 hours. It’s important to understand part of the process is “riding the waves” of experiences until we can regulate the brain. Over time, results will stick as we continue to train that part of the brain.
What happens after Neurofeedback training ends?
-Once we have mutually agreed to end training, you will go live your life. You may notice that old symptoms crop up from time to time. Reach out for a tune up session or two and your brain will remember what to do. Neurofeedback is not necessarily an ongoing treatment. The results you achieve will tend to be your “new normal” and persist. In this way it is different from other therapies and can be used in conjunction with other treatments you may be utilizing. However, neurofeedback can be used in an ongoing manner to aid in natural brain deterioration, focus, sharpness, and peak performance.
How does this work with medication?
-In the 1960s they discovered chemicals and electricity in the brain. Each of those areas took off and treatment was discovered. If you are already on medication, continuing taking it while training. Work closely with your doctor on medication management and let him or her know that you are training. I am happy to communicate with your doctor if need be. Some people find that they can completely come off their medication or lower their dosage once the brain is well-regulated. Unlike medicine, once treatment ends, the results stick and the brain does not go back to where it was before.
Is there a way to measure results?
-In my experience, some people simply enjoy feeling better and having an improved experience with life. Some people are interested in tangible data. In this case, I have a continuous performance testing device called “Qik.” More information is available here. It’s a 20-minute test where you will hit a button every time the “target” flashes on the device. It measures speed of response, consistency over time, accuracy, attention, and impulse control. At the end of the test, you will receive the report of your current brain function. It’s recommended to take the test before training and after every 20 sessions.
Does insurance cover Neurofeedback training and how much does it cost?
-Some insurance plans will cover this protocol. There is a CPT code, 90876(Psychotherapy + Neurofeedback) that can be used. If your insurance does not cover this code, you have an insurance plan that I’m not credentialed with, or you would like to pay privately, I offer various payment options.
-Per session $115
-5 session package $500(savings of $75)
-10 session package $900(savings of $250)
-Qik Test is an additional $20
Please contact Katie(firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions about payment or insurance.
What are people saying?
-Hearing feedback from those who have trained continues my passion for the field. I have heard things such as “life is just better,” “my brain feels good,” to “I’ve never been this inspired in my life,” and “things that once really upset me, just roll off my back.” People will say they have more energy and are focused. Those in therapy have said that they are finally able to address areas never approached before because it was just too painful. “It’s gets you where you want to go faster.” Family members are reporting that they are getting along better and see how life is much easier for them. Recently, I heard someone say, “I feel like I am finally home.”
Which method of Neurofeedback do you use?
-In December 2017, I was trained in the Othmer method using Cygnet and spent the following year getting experience training friends and family. I participate in monthly consultation phone calls with the home office and have mentors and colleagues here in Charlotte who I regularly consult with.
Who do you enjoy training?
-Neurofeedback can address many symptoms, however, I have preferences on the people I enjoy training. I have found more competency with the people I work with as a psychotherapist such as mood disorders(anxiety and depression), trauma(single-incident, chronic, or developmental), experiencing life stressors, issues with sleep and relaxation, and developing self-regulation tools. With neurofeedback, I can aid those with the previous as well as fears, self-injury, emotional overwhelm, and focus/motivation issues.
How does Neurofeedback training work with the other modalities you offer?
– I like to think of my work as addressing the malady from the mind(talk therapy), body(yoga), and brain(neurofeedback). Some people come to me and utilize all 3 modalities and some just 1 or two. I’m open to any combination of my work that suits you the best. All 3 treatment modalities are important and have their place in healing; one is not better than the other, simply they are different. I do recommend that when we start neurofeedback, we put the emphasis there. Certainly, we can do a talk or yoga session during; it’s just important to gain momentum with the training and get the relief we are looking for. Some people have found that there is a minimal need for talk therapy once their brain is well regulated as stressors are not as disruptive to their life as they once were. If you already have a talk therapist, I am happy to communicate and coordinate treatment with him or her. For those who utilize all three modalities, our work can be fluid and tailored to what your needs are. I’m open to feedback and adjusting as time passes!
How did you get into this field?
-I first read about neurofeedback in Bessel Van Der Kolk’s book, “The Body Keeps the Score.” The information provided peaked my interest and I continued to take in content about. I felt that it was important to hear about someone’s personal experience with it before I moved forward with referrals or training my own brain. A long term client of mine decided to try it. I followed their results throughout training and became so excited that I decided to have my brain trained. I started my own brain training with Kent Crawford at Charlotte Neurofeedback Associates. He recommended that I read Sebern Fisher’s book “Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma.” She is a psychotherapist and neurofeedback practitioner who introduced Bessel Van Der Kolk to the modality. One line in particular stood out to me; “you need to treat the mind, body, and brain to heal trauma.” At that point in my career, I had spent over 10 years as a talk therapist and 2 years as a yoga instructor. I looked at neurofeedback as the third piece in my work. I couldn’t wait to return to Kent and find out how to get trained in neurofeedback. He recommended that I train under Sue and Siegfried Othmer in Woodland Hills, CA at the EEG Institute. I signed up for the training in December. In the meantime, I continued to have my brain trained(obtaining very exciting results) and referred some of my own clients for training. It was so exciting to see and experience all of the results that myself and others were getting from neurofeedback.